I am puzzled by something about ArcMap's export to PDF. I have a large contours layer being used on a map, much larger than the area shown in my neatline. When I export to PDF I get a huge file size (24mb) but if I turn off the contours layer it goes way down (300k). If I make a clip of the contours and use that the file size stays small.

In my export settings I am not exporting any Layers or Attributes (under the Advanced tab) so I would have thought that the PDF would be a "flat" file where the map is rendered onto the page, and the data would stop at the page's borders since there's no layer/attribute info that has to be embedded, and none of the spatial linework is useful when it is not on the rendered page.

So is there a setting somewhere in ArcMap that allows the export to clip spatial data to the export page extent to decrease file size, instead of including all linework for features that are not even visible? (what i assume is happening) enter image description here

closed as unclear what you're asking by PolyGeo Jul 7 at 1:18

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  • If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, that will get you to Reduced Size PDF. The Adobe Acrobat Reader DC will not work this way... – PROBERT Feb 23 '18 at 17:34
  • I know about this, but i am trying to limit the data included to the neatline as opposed to compress things in a fancier way. – user25644 Mar 27 '18 at 22:37
  • Maybe show or screenshot of what you were trying to do. Have you already solve the problem ? – PROBERT Mar 27 '18 at 23:19
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    It would be interesting to know if splitting the contour lines at or just outside the print window would contribute to a much smaller PDF size. – Rayner May 17 '18 at 10:57
  • When you say "I have a large contours layer being used on a map, much larger than the area shown in my neatline" do you mean "I have a large contours layer being used on a map, much larger than the area shown in my dataframe"? Please ensure that any text explanations on pictures are also included as plain text so that it is available to future searches. – PolyGeo Feb 7 at 23:38

It's been a while since I did this (was working in 10.1), and I was exporting to an illustrator file, not a .pdf, but I noticed that any layer with a transparency value was exported as an image, not a vector, and I think anything below a layer with a transparency value set was exported as an image as well.

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